Those who yearn for the glory days of arcade culture should feast their eyes on the Legend of Zelda cabinet that never was, but definitely should have been.
While The Legend of Zelda never made the transition to arcades, likely due to the nature of the game itself, that doesn't mean it shouldn't have. Behold, the glorious result of painstaking work by a dedicated fan who wanted to see the beloved series in a classic arcade cabinet.
User Wyo made a post on the Arcade Museum forums showing off the fruits of his labor through various photographs. The cabinet contains an NES and a 20-inch cathode ray tube. He states that it's 95 percent finished with only some side art and an instruction card left to complete. Wyo was kind enough to provide some cliff notes on the project:
"Basically, it's an all wood construction. Primered and block sanded smooth and straight. I painted it with metallic gold automotive urethane, and then added a mid coat of .008 gold flake. After I cleared it, I wetsanded it 1000-3000 and then polished it. It turned out pretty cool. The whole cab shimmers in the light with the light bouncing off the flake.
The artwork was a lot of work. I had ro recreate all the images in illustrator. In my design, My intent with the art was to make it look DK/80's nintendo ish. I then hand cut and gold chrome embossed the control panel and bezel. I will do the same with the side art and instruction sticker.
Inside, is a decased 20" CRT and an NES wired to the arcade joystick and buttons. I was gonna do a playchoice ten....but now I'm happy I went with the NES. I can play all the NES games with an Everdrive N8."
While some of the technical mumbo jumbo has likely sailed right over a few heads, an understanding of the work that went into it isn't required to appreciate it. The thing to take away is that Wyo saw this as a labor of passion and it shows.
This couldn't come at a better time, either. Zelda hype is continuing to climb with more and more information on Link's latest adventure, Breath of the Wild, releasing regularly. The latest video released on the title shows off some of the various meals that can be prepared. A hero's gotta eat, after all. There are also rumors circulating of a March, 2017 release date, which would line up with the scheduled release of the new Nintendo NX console.
The Legend of Zelda arcade cabinet is an excellent homage to the classic arcades of yore, with the artwork providing one of the most potent nostalgic throwbacks. Perusing the cabinet, it's hard not to appreciate every detail. From the golden shimmer of the cabinet, which is a throwback to the original cartridge itself, to the green buttons, to the way the speaker is shaped like a triforce; it's all absolute perfection.
Wyo makes no mention as to whether or not he intends to sell the cabinet, but it's a safe bet his inbox is flooded with offers. Let's hope he continues to make more classic games into incredible arcade cabinets like this one.